Last updated October 29th, 2018.


Vietnam’s stock market has been on investors’ radars for some time. That’s partly because of Vietnam’s similarities to China in the 1980s and 1990s during its much earlier stages of economic growth.

Equities and currencies all throughout Asia have seen a roller-coaster ride lately. Yet the Vietnam stock market is among Asia’s best,  outperforming competing exchanges in places like Hong Kong and Thailand.

Perhaps the main issue is foreigners consider it hard to invest in Vietnam stocks because of notoriously heavy bureaucracy along with a lack of market information.

Authorities have taken steps to fix these problems though. Banks have recently taken steps to become more friendly toward foreign investors in Vietnam and the government simplified some regulations.

Likewise, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, Vietnam’s largest, removed its restrictions on foreign ownership at the end of 2015. The nation’s government is in the process of privatizing a huge number of state owned business too.

But while the websites of many stock brokerages and government departments can be browsed in English, the quality remains poor and there is still a lot of  Vietnamese-only information.

With that said, there has been a huge amount of improvement over the past decade or so. These changes are making it much easier for foreigners to invest in the Vietnam stock market.

In contrast with most other countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has two major stock exchanges: the main Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) along with the smaller, secondary Hanoi Stock Exchange (HSX).


Stock Exchanges in Vietnam


Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE)

  • Vietnam’s Largest Stock Exchange
  • Market capitalization around US$55 billion
  • Total listed stocks: 305
  • Average monthly turnover during the first half of 2015: VND34,660 billion  (around US$1.55 billion)
  • Trading hours: 9AM to 3PM with a break from 11:30AM to 1PM


Hanoi Stock Exchange (HSX)

  • Vietnam’s Second Largest Stock Exchange
  • Market Capitalization of around US$6.5
  • Total listed stocks: 361
  • Average monthly turnover during the first half of 2015: VND11,520 billion (around US$0.50 billion)
  • Trading hours: 9AM to 3PM with a break from 11:30AM to 1PM



Invest in the Vietnam Stock Market

Foreigners can invest in both of Vietnam’s two major exchanges. While there are still some restrictions on the HSX with regards to majority holdings, this shouldn’t become a factor for all but the wealthiest of investors.


1. Find a Stock Brokerage in Vietnam

Having a brokerage account is a requirement to staart investing in Vietnam stocks. With language barriers still a problem in the country, its usually best to go with some of Vietnam’s largest firms.

Vietnam’s biggest brokers are more likely to have someone on hand who speaks English and are generally more competent too.

Below are the five largest brokerage firms in Vietnam by market share:

  1. Saigon Securities Incorporation
  2. Ho Chi Minh City Securities Corporation
  3. Viet Capital Securities Joint Stock Company
  4. Vndirect Securities Corporation
  5. ACB Securities Company Ltd.


2. Open a Vietnam Brokerage Account

Once you have selected a brokerage firm, they will ask for a number of documents to be filled out. The exact types vary based on the brokerage but generally include:

  1. Account Opening Application
  2. Power of Attorney
  3. Application for Securities Trading Code
  4. Copy of Your Passport
  5. For US Citizens, Documentation for FATCA Compliance


3. Open a Vietnam Bank Account

The stock broker should also be able to help you open a bank account in Vietnam with one of their partners in order to hold funds and settle global transactions.

It requires filling out another form or two (or three), but the brokerage can reuse many of the same documents from the last step.


4. Apply for a Securities Trading Code

With everything else finished, the brokerage will apply for your securities trading code – essentially an ID for investors and a requirement for trading stocks in Vietnam.

That will of course require a notarized passport copy, but you should have submitted this for Steps 2 and 3 already.

After getting a securities trading code, you’re done! Just transfer money to your new brokerage account, start trading, and join in on Vietnam’s economic growth!

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About Reid Kirchenbauer

Reid Kirchenbauer is the Founder of InvestAsian. He's an international stock trader and property investor based in Thailand, Cambodia, and several other places. Reid manages the world's first and only frontier market real estate fund and has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Property Report, the South China Morning Post, and Seeking Alpha. You can download his free investment guide by clicking here.

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